If you’re trying to buy a Meridian Idaho home, you already know we have a hot market with low listing inventory.
Sharp, properly priced homes sell immediately; sometimes within hours, with multiple offers.
If you live in another state, it can be difficult and expensive to visit the Meridian area and view homes before they sell.
In most instances, that sharp new listing you’ve spotted online will sell before you can get here to look at it.
It’s also easy to spend $1,000 (or more) on airfare, hotel, and a rental car for a house-hunting trip.
Here are a few thoughts on how to deal with this situation.
Pre-approved financing is a must!
If you’ll be financing your purchase, it’s vitally important to get your financing approved upfront!
A seller will not take your offer seriously if you don’t provide proof of approved financing with your offer.
Pre-approval will also provide you with full information about the costs of your financing.
Research Meridian Idaho home listings online
Define your housing criteria in detail, including a list of “must haves” and a “wish list” of desired optional features.
Then, use the MLS Search function (above) on this blog to search for listings that match your criteria.
I don’t require registration to view listings on this blog, and I will NOT pursue you!
If you want details on a specific listing, just e-mail me or call me at (208)938-5533 for more information.
Hire a buyer’s agent
Commit to one agent, then let them find suitable properties to consider.
Sign a Buyer Representation Agreement (upfront) to ensure that your agent will devote serious attention to you.
Your buyer’s agent will be able to search MLS and see information that isn’t visible to the public.
Work, in partnership, with your buyer’s agent to identify and research properties of interest.
Sellers are skeptical of offers without earnest money, so bring your checkbook when you come to look at homes.
If you don’t use checks, be prepared to get a cashier’s check, wire your earnest money, or overnight it.
Promising to provide earnest money two days after your offer is accepted will not impress a seller!
Offering substantial earnest money may help to get your offer accepted; especially in a multiple-offer situation.
While earnest money is somewhat symbolic, sellers are often impressed by substantial earnest money.
Your earnest money will be applied to your “cash to close” funds, so why not impress the seller with more earnest money?
Make an offer contingent upon your inspection/approval
Some (few?) sellers will accept an offer contingent upon your personal inspection.
In those situations, you should make your contingency period as short as possible to increase your chances of acceptance.
Have friends or relatives look at the property
If you aren’t here when the right property pops up, have a local friend or relative look at the property for you.
Then, make an offer based upon their input.
Trust your agent and buy it sight-unseen
Another option is to make an offer based upon your agent’s advice and recommendations.
This requires tremendous trust and confidence in your agent and is often uncomfortable for both buyer and agent.
I’ve helped a number of out-of-area buyers purchase homes sight-unseen, but I’m never comfortable with that scenario.
I do NOT recommend this option!
Buy a “to-be-built” or “under-construction’ new home
Buying a new home that is yet to be built, or under construction, is often a good option in a hot market.
Most of our builders are quoting a six-month delivery time for a new home that has yet to be started.
Homes that are under construction can provide faster delivery times.
One advantage of buying a new home is that you may be able to make selections and get exactly what you want.
And, buying a home that is under construction may give you time to sell your present home, if needed.
You may also avoid multiple-offer bidding wars by buying a home that is “to-be-built” or “under construction”.
Final thoughts . . .
A desirable property will attract strong, immediate interest from other buyers.
Savvy buyers have learned, from experience, that they must act quickly to achieve an accepted offer.
Be prepared to offer more than the asking price if you want to be competitive.
Hot markets are challenging, but they’re a fact of life in the Meridian real estate market these days.
If you have questions, please give me a call at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me!
During his 44 years of full-time real estate experience, Phil has helped thousands of past clients buy and sell quality properties in the Western U.S.
Phil is one of only ten local Realtors® (of nearly 5,500) honored with the coveted “Realtor® Emeritus” award from the National Association of Realtors®, recognizing 40 years in real estate.